Various forms of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBT-i) have been developed to improve its scalability and accessibility for insomnia management in young people, but the efficacy of digitally-delivered cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (dCBT-i) remains uncertain. This study systematically reviewed and evaluated the effectiveness of dCBT-i among young individuals with insomnia. We conducted comprehensive searches using four electronic databases (PubMed, Cochrane Library, PsycINFO, and Embase; until October 2021) and examined eligible records. The search strategy comprised the following three main concepts: (1) participants were adolescents or active college students; (2) dCBT-I was employed; (3) standardized tools were used for outcome measurement. Four randomized controlled trials qualified for meta-analysis. A significant improvement in self-reported sleep quality with a medium-to-large effect size after treatment (Hedges's g = -0.58~-0.80) was noted. However, a limited effect was detected regarding objective sleep quality improvement (total sleep time and sleep efficiency measured using actigraphy). These preliminary findings from the meta-analysis suggest that dCBT-i is a moderately effective treatment in managing insomnia in younger age groups, and CBT-i delivered through the web or a mobile application is an acceptable approach for promoting sleep health in young people.
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